To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Needles, Needles Everywhere

Posted without with little comment. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
They tell us he was steaming, but San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom shouldn't have been too surprised when The Chronicle reported that Golden Gate Park was littered with used drug syringes.

After all, his own Public Health Department spent $800,000 last year to help hand out some 2 million syringes to drug users under the city's needle exchange program --sometimes 20 at a time.

I'm becoming more sympathetic towards the public health approach for drug policy, mostly due to the very slim minority that I seem to be in with my criticism. What I would point out, is that is the exact type of negative consequence of the public health approach that -- it seems to me -- would annoy the fuck out of a lot of people who's support is necessary for reform to occur in drug policy. In theory, most rational people would support policies like needle exchange and more treatment centers. But when it comes time to execute those policies, they aren't going to want them in their neighborhood if it means more addicts and more needles, etc. Most people don't see the Drug War as the massive, evil entity that it is, doing all the damage that it does. This being the case, if the alternative policies impact them more on a personal level, even if on the whole the policy is much better than the previous one, supporters will become opponents.

Sometimes it's important to think about practical matters that may seem trivial, but when it comes to executing the policies, aren't trivial at all. Full article here.

FWIW: I've updated and changed some things in this post a couple times since it was originally posted. That may tell you how certain I am or am not about any of this....

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